Mom Whose Daughter Came Out as Gay to Her at Harry Styles Concert Says She's 'Very Proud of Her'

"I feel the happiest I've felt in a long time so I'm just so grateful for everything that happened," McKinley McConnell, 23, said in a joint interview with her mom

Harry Styles fan on Ellen
McKinley McConnell and her mom Lisa on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Photo: Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

McKinley McConnell is forever grateful to Harry Styles for helping her live her truth.

McConnell, who went viral on TikTok after Styles, 27, helped her come out to her mom Lisa at his Milwaukee, Wisconsin concert earlier this month, appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday to talk about the big moment.

"[I feel] very overwhelmed but the actual coming out [part], I feel so relaxed," McConnell, 23, told DeGeneres. "I feel authentic and true to myself. I feel the happiest I've felt in a long time so I'm just so grateful for everything that happened."

Lisa was equally fond of the moment, telling the talk show host that she couldn't be prouder of her daughter for embracing her true self in such a public way.

"At that moment, you are flooded with adrenaline and emotion," Lisa explained. "I knew how she felt about this artist, and to share such an intimate part of her life with an entire venue, I was very proud of her. I love her very much for doing that."

Styles was midway through his sold-out "Love on Tour" show at the Fiserv Forum on Nov. 3 when he noticed McConnell in the pit with a sign that read "My mom is in Section 201. Help me come out."

As seen in footage of the moment shared on TikTok, Styles stopped the music to chat with McConnell, asking what she wanted to tell her mom and whether he should be the one to relay the news.

After some back-and-forth exchanges, McConnell gave Styles the green light to tell her mom. The Grammy winner then walked to the other side of the stage and shouted, "Lisa, she's gay!" as the crowd erupted into cheers.

On the stadium's jumbotron, Lisa could be seen covering her face in her hands before blowing kisses to her daughter down below.

Harry Styles fan on Ellen
McKinley McConnell and her mom Lisa on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.

Though it was a big personal moment, McConnell admitted to DeGeneres that coming out during the concert was actually a bit of a "last-minute" decision.

"I knew [my mom] would be more comfortable sitting down so two days before the concert, I was able to buy her a ticket and that's why she's in [section] 201 and I'm in the pit," she explained. "I had come out to my siblings a couple of months ago and I knew I wanted to come out to her."

Reflecting on how Styles often helps his fans come out at his shows and preaches that he wants them to "have the best time of your life", McConnell felt like the concert was the perfect place to share her truth.

"Thinking about that, thinking about how I got my mom a ticket, I was like, that must be a sign to make the sign," she said. "But I had a backup sign. It said, 'Thank you for everything' because I didn't know if I could go through with it."

The Ellen DeGeneres Show
McKinley McConnell and her mom Lisa with the new sign that Ellen DeGeneres gifted them.

While McConnell carefully crafted her sign ahead of the concert, Lisa said she was left in the dark.

"It was a complete surprise," she admitted. "When she was staying with me, she made the sign and she asked me not to be in the same room."

But all that changed when Styles started reading fans' signs at the concert — and some familiar features on one stood out to Lisa.

"I could see on the jumbotron, the gold [on the sign] and I heard him say, 'My mom' and I knew then he was talking to my daughter," she recalled. "But I still, at that point, had no idea what she was gonna say."

After Styles announced the news, Lisa said all she wanted to do was give her a big hug and tell her that I supported her but I couldn't... so that's when I blew the kisses."

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To mark their time on the show, DeGeneres jokingly gifted McConnell with a new sign to take to Styles' concert in Los Angeles, which she was planning to attend Monday night.

The sign, which had gold trimming and hearts surrounding the text, hilariously read: "Me again! My mom and I went on Ellen. She says hi! Other than that, no new news."

"Thank you!" McConnell told DeGeneres through her laughter. "I'll hold this up high!"

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